Weekend in Springfield, Illinois

Everyone loves the Cozy Dog Drive-In in Springfield, and it was a great place for a book signing last Saturday to conclude June, our book release month. Thanks to Josh Waldmire for hosting! Unfortunately, co-author Joe Sonderman could not be there due to his work schedule, but he pre-signed our book stock so no one went away with a new book without both signatures in it. There was a good lunch crowd plus several parties who had made the trip into Springfield just for the Route 66 in Illinois book and some Cozy Dogs! Three hours went by quickly, chatting with visitors plus eating!

From the Cozy Dog we moved on to the great Prairie Archives book store in downtown Springfield to do some perusing before they closed at 5:00 pm. Steve Rensberry had agreed to accompany me on the Springfield trip, and a book store stop is a must for both of us. Plus, it was our birthday week (Steve's birthday is the day before mine), so we had some shopping to do for each other. A great book on Joliet followed me out of there.

We spent Saturday evening in downtown Springfield, strolling around the old capitol/ courthouse, checking out shops and architecture, and having a relaxing dinner at Cafe Brio at the corner of Monroe and Sixth Streets. The humidity and heat had subsided somewhat, and there was a great breeze. I've lived in Springfield twice, at two different periods in my life, and I always love to go back.

On Sunday morning, it was Jungle Jim's on Peoria Road/City 66 for breakfast. They were busy as usual, and who came in but our Route 66 friends Josh and Wendy Friedrich. If this cafe is not on your usual list of eateries in Springfield, give it a try. The food and service are good, the prices are reasonable, and there are more than enough racing photos, memorabilia, and other interesting items to keep you occupied while you wait - don't miss the Barbie zip line.

Next it was the Washington Park Botanical Garden for some communing with nature and some photography. We accidentally timed it right to hear a concert on the Thomas Rees (local newspaper publisher 1881-1933) Memorial Carillon. 

Before heading out of town, we drove out to the west side of town to go by my childhood home (well, one of them - eight years at this one), but I was very sad to see it had been torn down. My father built that ranch house in the early 1950s. The one next door to it was also gone...I suppose I'll see another convenience store there the next time I drive by. 

The Route 4 alignment of Route 66 is always such a pleasure to drive back south on.  That's the way we meandered home - on the stretch of brick pavement north of Auburn, past the charming squares at Virden, Girard, and Carlinville, and past the empty lot where the Coliseum stood for many years. We ended the nostalgia tour with supper at Fiona's back in Edwardsville and thoughts of getting back to work this week. 

Next book signing for Joe and me is Sunday afternoon, July 13, in Litchfield.


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